Fife heavy engineering group BiFab is struggling to survive in the face of a cashflow crisis but it insisted today it was not yet in administration.
The company’s managing director Martin Adam told The Courier that directors were in discussions with key stakeholders to find solutions that will allow the firm to continue trading and overcome what it described as a “temporary difficult position.”
It said the issue related to two major contracts for the SSE-led Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm in the Outer Moray Firth but it did not provide specific details.
However, BiFab confirmed the board had moved to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators in order to protect the company from creditor claims.
It stressed the company was not currently in administration and the “directors remain hopeful that a solution can be reached to secure the future of the business and the workforce.”
It had been widely reported that BiFab had around 600 staff on its books but the company said it actually employed 251 permanent staff and a further 1,132 via agencies, meaning its total headcount is around 1,400.
Over the course of the weekend, the group’s two main unions – GMB and Unite – said they were concerned for the future of workers at the group and the situation sparked a political outcry.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse – who visited BiFab’s Methil yard earlier this year to announce new offshore wind power development cash – confirmed the government and Scottish Enterprise was in talks with the company with the intention of finding a resolution to the crisis.
Martin Adam,managing director of BiFab, said the company was doing everything it could to avoid going under.
He said: “We are very disappointed that we have found ourselves in the current position which has arisen as a result of a challenging situation in respect of our ongoing contracts which have been providing much needed employment locally in Scotland.
“We are seeking a rapid solution with our key stakeholders and the Scottish Executive to our current cash flow position and are hopeful that this can be achieved quickly to secure the future of the business and the 1,400 strong workforce.”